Quotations of Wisdom

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Kathleen Parker

Politics - Even when you win an argument based on half-truths, the people lose. [Q1665]


The curse of me and my nation is that we always think things can be bettered by immediate action of some sort, any sort rather than no sort. [Q895]


No man is free who is not master of himself. [Q818]


A thought is an idea in transit. [Q921]

Thurgood Marshall

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. [Q753]

Pablo Picasso

An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought. [Q603]

Wendell Berry

The teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner. [Q1324]

Marie Curie

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. [Q330]


Healing in a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. [Q1027]

Michel de Montaigne

He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak. [Q1165]


No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding. [Q888]


Can anyone be truly free who serves only himself? — "Kung Fu" Elixir — 1973 Season 2, Episode 11 [Q598]

Dennis Prager

Our scientific age demands that we provide definitions, measurements, and statistics in order to be taken seriously. Yet most of the important things in life cannot be precisely defined or measured. Can we define or measure love, beauty, friendship, or decency, for example? [Q453]

Michael Korda

The freedom to fail is vital if you're going to succeed. Most successful people fail from time to time, and it is a measure of their strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success. [Q457]

Galileo Galilei

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty. [Q932]


To prefer evil to good is not in human nature; and when a man is compelled to choose one of two evils, no one will choose the greater when he might have the less. [Q907]

Woodrow Wilson

If you want to make enemies, try to change something. [Q747]

Mohandas Gandhi

Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position. [Q559]


The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles. [Q894]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be 'consistent'. [Q1080]

Noam Chomsky

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune. [Q154]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing. [Q1090]

Bryant McGill

Where wise actions are the fruit of life, wise discourse is the pollination. [Q1381]

The Jungle

After reading the Jungle, President Theodore Roosevelt ordered an investigation of the meat-packing industry. Meeting with Upton Sinclair Roosevelt told him that while he disapproved how the book preached socialism he agreed that "radical action must be taken to do away with the efforts of arrogant and selfish greed on the part of the capitalist." Roosevelt followed-up by passing the Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. In his book, Sinclair illustrated how a novelist could help with social improvement. [Q1902]

David Brock

It's all a sham: I have seen, and I know firsthand, indeed from my own pen, how the organized Right has sabotaged not only journalism but also democracy and truth. [Q622]

Thomas Jefferson

Preach... a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [of monarchial government]. [Q540]

Jean-Luc Picard

You can commit no mistake and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life. [Q172]

Dalai Lama

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. [Q691]

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

Look at that document, read it carefully, nothing in human life brings us perfection... What is the alternative for 308 million who think different things trying to live together. It can't be war among men and therefore it is law among them ... You don't like what is going on, I can't tell you what to do, if I had a shot at it, I would say go out and participate. Try to persuade people, try to understand, and when you can't persuade people to your point of view, then you try again ... I can't tell you what kind of life to lead, but I can tell you this because I've worked with this document, the Constitution for seventeen years in the Supreme Court. If you don't participate in your communities and get out there and try to persuade people. If you don't do that, this document won't work. [Q1600]

Senator Paul Simon

[One solution to the trade deficit is to] train our workforce better. How many US-based corporations have moved plants to other countries because of our inadequately trained workforce? No one knows, but the numbers are large. That does not mean Americans have less inherent ability than people in Japan or Germany or Singapore. But privately, and sometimes publicly, industrial leaders are candid about the inadequacy of the educational background of too many Americans. [Q2060]

Alex Todorov

There is a certain trajectory to human evolution and whether we understand it or not it will unravel in due course over the time it takes: we cannot speed it up; we can only be manifestation of it as it happens. [Q1835]

Wendell Berry

It is useless to try to adjudicate a long-standing animosity by asking who started it or who is the most wrong. [Q1338]

John D Barrow

People assume that because you have graced the same stage as the star act, in front of thousands, you must be reaping similar financial rewards. This is a complete fallacy. [Q1050]

Dan Dennet

The secret of happiness: Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it. [Q1984]


I am puzzled. — Master Po — That is the beginning of wisdom. — "Kung Fu" The Hoots 1973 Season 2, Episode 10 [Q596]

Václav Havel

You may ask what kind of republic I dream of. Let me reply: I dream of a republic independent, free, and democratic, of a republic economically prosperous and yet socially just; in short, of a humane republic that serves the individual and that therefore holds the hope that the individual will serve it in turn. Of a republic of well-rounded people, because without such people it is impossible to solve any of our problems — human, economic, ecological, social, or political. [Q1794]

Josh Billings

As scarce as truth is, the supply is always greater than the demand. [Q1854]

Paul Krugman

If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, conservatives often seem inclined to accept that tribute, voting for candidates who publicly espouse conservative moral principles whatever their personal behaviour. [Q1706]

William Bernbach

An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it. [Q1957]

Thomas Paine

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. [Q274]

Kurt Gödel

There would be no danger of an atomic war if advances in history, the science of right and of state, philosophy, psychology, literature, art, etc. were as great as in physics. But instead of such progress, one is struck by significant regresses in many of the spiritual sciences. [Q1962]

Woodrow Wilson

Let me inside the government and I will tell you what is going on there. [Q2027]

Theodore Roosevelt

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. [Q1279]


Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. [Q882]

Nikola Tesla

Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine. [Q1679]

Scott Nesler

The human species lives in a world where understanding partners with conflict. [Q594]

Adlai Stevenson

There is a spiritual hunger in the world today - and it cannot be satisfied by better cars on longer credit terms. [Q1653]

Wendell Berry

National defense through war always involves some degree of national defeat. [Q1336]


When words are no better than silence, one should remain silent. - Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q508]

Carl Sagan

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. [Q227]

Carl Jung

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. [Q254]


As soon as laws are necessary for men, they are no longer fit for freedom. [Q922]

Senator Paul Simon

The words of Jesus about helping the hungry, the naked, those in prison, and others desperate seem to me to ring true and are so contrary to the actions taken over the centuries by so many in the name of Jesus. [Q1700]

Ward Cunningham

People can and do trust works produced by people they don’t know. The real world is still trying to figure out how Wikipedia works. A fantastic resource. Open source is produced by people that you can’t track down, but you can trust it in very deep ways. People can trust works by people they don’t know in this low communication cost environment. [Q1008]

Frederick Douglass

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. [Q438]

Jesse Jackson

No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams. [Q1551]

Bernard Goldberg

The evening news is a concept whose time has come and gone. [Q213]

Saul Alinsky

Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict. [Q990]

Mohandas Gandhi

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. [Q560]

Richard P. Feynman

It's because someone knows something about it that we can't talk about physics. It's the things that nobody knows about that we can discuss. We can talk about the weather; we can talk about social problems; we can talk about psychology; we can talk about international finance... so it's the subject that nobody knows anything about that we can all talk about! [Q971]

Mustafa Kemal

Today, our most important and most productive task is the national education [unification and modernization] affairs. We have to be successful in national education affairs and we shall be. The liberation of a nation is only achieved through this way. [Q1930]

Margaret Sanger

A free race cannot be born of slave mothers. [Q1666]

Pete Seeger

I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion, and I am proud that I never refuse to sing to an audience, no matter what religion or color of their skin, or situation in life. [Q347]

Richard Ruhl

I saw a van with a bumper sticker saying "I am a vet, therefore I drive like an animal." Suddenly I realized how many proctologist there are on the roads [Q2095]

Václav Havel

Hope is a feeling that life and work have meaning. You either have it or you don't, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you. [Q1743]

Master Po

Old Man, how is it that you hear these things? Young Man, how is it that you do not? — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q510]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

But, gentlemen, as long as I am an American citizen, and as long as American blood runs in these veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, to publish whatever I please on any subject--being amenable to the laws of my country for the same. [Q2049]

Marshall McLuhan

Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it's just the beginning. [Q1467]

Miles Davis

I know what I've done for music, but don't call me a legend. Just call me Miles Davis. [Q2058]

Stephen Jay Gould

The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best - and therefore never scrutinize or question. [Q1809]

Thomas Jefferson

The object [of my education bill was] to bring into action that mass of talents which lies buried in poverty in every country for want of the means of development, and thus give activity to a mass of mind which in proportion to our population shall be the double or treble of what it is in most countries. [Q530]


We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. [Q1306]

Václav Havel

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. [Q1760]

Stephen Jay Gould

The more important the subject and the closer it cuts to the bone of our hopes and needs, the more we are likely to err in establishing a framework for analysis. [Q1808]

Marie Curie

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained. [Q329]

Anna Quindlen

Ignorant free speech often works against the speaker. That is one of several reasons why it must be given rein instead of suppressed. [Q995]

Václav Havel

The recent period — and in particular the last six weeks of our peaceful revolution — has shown the enormous human, moral and spiritual potential, and the civic culture that slumbered in our society under the enforced mask of apathy. Whenever someone categorically claimed that we were this or that, I always objected that society is a very mysterious creature and that it is unwise to trust only the face it presents to you. I am happy that I was not mistaken. Everywhere in the world people wonder where those meek, humiliated, sceptical and seemingly cynical citizens of Czechoslovakia found the marvellous strength to shake the totalitarian yoke from their shoulders in several weeks, and in a decent and peaceful way. [Q1790]

Woody Guthrie

All you can write is what you see. [Q1042]

Tracy Chapman

Truth is Divinity — From the lyrics of "Heaven's Here on Earth, Album New Beginning" [Q1490]

Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillispie

(MD) Why can't I play like you? (DG) Because you don't hear it that way. [Q17]

Charles Lindbergh

Living in dreams of yesterday, we find ourselves still dreaming of impossible future conquests. [Q1935]

Thomas Paine

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. [Q268]

D. A. Ridgely

When I was young American politics were fairly straightforward: conservatives let you keep all your money in return for telling you how to live your life, while liberals let you live as you pleased in return for all your money. Now the only difference is whether they want your money or your life first. [Q1839]

Thomas Jefferson

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object. [Q194]

Meister Eckhart

What a man takes in by contemplation, that he pours out in love. [Q1635]

Galileo Galilei

Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not. [Q940]

Albert Einstein

If I give you a pfennig, you will be one pfennig richer and I'll be one pfennig poorer. But if I give you an idea, you will have a new idea, but I shall still have it, too. [Q120]

Antonio Damasio

We all woke up this morning and we had with it the amazing return of our conscious mind. We recovered minds with a complete sense of self and a complete sense of our own existence — yet we hardly ever pause to consider this wonder. [Q1979]

Robert Fuller

Anger congeals to hate when people fear domination and experience the indignity of being discounted. No one, conservative or progressive, likes being taken for a nobody. Hatred takes root when fears remain unaddressed and dignity is disregarded. Imagined indignities can feel as injurious as real ones, and suffice to incite people to commit mayhem and murder. [Q1346]

Coretta Scott King

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. [Q38]


Pleasant it to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in peril. [Q1562]


Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity. [Q1036]

Edward de Bono

Sometimes it is not enough just to be against something. Pressure groups can be powerful in bringing something to an end. But in many cases there is also a need for constructive ideas. (from the book, I am Right, you are wrong. page 22) [Q2000]


The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied. [Q1565]

Buckminster Fuller

Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone else does the thinking. [Q107]

Konrad Lorenz

We had better dispense with the personification of evil, because it leads, all too easily, to the most dangerous kind of war: religious war. [Q1433]

Václav Havel

Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity. [Q1748]

Noam Chomsky

To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public. [Q162]

John Steinbeck

What a frightening thing is the human, a mass of gauges and dials and registers, and we can only read a few and those perhaps not accurately. &ndash The Winter of Our Discontent [Q2017]

Václav Havel

Despite all the political misery I am confronted with every day, it still is my profound conviction that the very essence of politics is not dirty; dirt is brought in only by wicked people. I admit that this is an area of human activity where the temptation to advance through unfair actions may be stronger than elsewhere, and which thus makes higher demands on human integrity. But it is not true at all that a politician cannot do without lying or intriguing. That is sheer nonsense, often spread by those who want to discourage people from taking an interest in public affairs. [Q1765]

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